Library

 
View Text Low Bandwidth Version
Download Publication
Field Listing :: Military service age and obligation
Print Page
This entry gives the required ages for voluntary or conscript military service and the length of service obligation.
Country
Military service age and obligation(years of age)
Afghanistan 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Albania 19 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 18 is the legal minimum age in case of general/partial compulsory mobilization (2012)
Algeria 17 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 19-30 years of age for compulsory service; conscript service obligation is 18 months (6 months basic training, 12 months civil projects) (2012)
Angola 20-45 years of age for compulsory male and 18-45 years for voluntary male military service (registration at age 18 is mandatory); 20-45 years of age for voluntary female service; conscript service obligation - 2 years; Angolan citizenship required; the Navy (MGA) is entirely staffed with volunteers (2013)
Antigua and Barbuda 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; Governor-General has powers to call up men for national service and set the age at which they could be called up (2012)
Argentina 18-24 years of age for voluntary military service (18-21 requires parental consent); no conscription; if the number of volunteers fails to meet the quota of recruits for a particular year, Congress can authorize the conscription of citizens turning 18 that year for a period not exceeding one year (2012)
Armenia 18-27 years of age for voluntary or compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; 17 year olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2012)
Australia 17 years of age for voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription; women allowed to serve in most combat roles, except the Army special forces (2013)
Austria registration requirement at age 17, the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; 18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory service; males under the age of 35 must complete basic military training (6 month duration); males 18 to 50 years old in the militia or inactive reserve are subject to compulsory service (2012)
Azerbaijan men between 18 and 35 are liable for military service; length of service is 18 months and 12 months for university graduates; 17 years of age for voluntary service; 17 year olds are considered to be on active service at cadet military schools (2012)
Bahamas, The 18 years of age for voluntary male and female service; no conscription (2012)
Bahrain 18 years of age for voluntary military service; 15 years of age for NCOs, technicians, and cadets; no conscription (2012)
Bangladesh 16-19 years of age for voluntary military service; Bangladeshi birth and 10th grade education required; initial obligation 15 years (2012)
Barbados 18 years of age for voluntary military service, or earlier with parental consent; no conscription (2013)
Belarus 18-27 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 12-18 months, depending on academic qualifications; 17 year olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2012)
Belgium 18 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 1994 (2012)
Belize 18 years of age for voluntary military service; laws allow for conscription only if volunteers are insufficient; conscription has never been implemented; volunteers typically outnumber available positions by 3:1; initial service obligation 12 years (2012)
Benin 18-35 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; a higher education diploma is required; both sexes are eligible for military service; conscript tour of duty - 18 months (2013)
Bermuda 18-45 years of age for voluntary male or female enlistment in the Bermuda Regiment; males must register at age 18 and may be subject to conscription; term of service is 38 months for volunteers or conscripts (2012)
Bhutan 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; militia training is compulsory for males aged 20-25, over a 3-year period (2012)
Bolivia 18-49 years of age for 12-month compulsory male and female military service; Bolivian citizenship required; 17 years of age for voluntary service; when annual number of volunteers falls short of goal, compulsory recruitment is effected, including conscription of boys as young as 14; 15-19 years of age for voluntary premilitary service, provides exemption from further military service (2013)
Bosnia and Herzegovina 18 years of age for voluntary military service; mandatory retirement at age 35 or after 15 years of service (2013)
Botswana 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Brazil 18-45 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 9-12 months; 17-45 years of age for voluntary service; an increasing percentage of the ranks are "long-service" volunteer professionals; women were allowed to serve in the armed forces beginning in early 1980s when the Brazilian Army became the first army in South America to accept women into career ranks; women serve in Navy and Air Force only in Women's Reserve Corps (2012)
Brunei 17 years of age for voluntary military service; non-Malays are ineligible to serve; recruits from the army, navy, and air force all undergo 43-week initial training (2013)
Bulgaria 18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription ended in January 2008; service obligation 6-9 months (2012)
Burkina Faso 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women may serve in supporting roles (2013)
Burma 18-35 years of age (men) and 18-27 years of age (women) for voluntary military service; no conscription (a 2010 law reintroducing conscription has not yet entered into force); service obligation 2 years; male (ages 18-45) and female (ages 18-35) professionals (including doctors, engineers, mechanics) serve up to 3 years; service terms may be stretched to 5 years in an officially declared emergency; Burma signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) on 15 August 1991; on 27 June 2012, the regime signed a Joint Action Plan on prevention of child recruitment; in February 2013, the military formed a new task force to address forced child conscription, which reportedly continues (2013)
Burundi 18 years of age for voluntary military service; the armed forces law of 31 December 2004 did not specify a minimum age for enlistment, but the government claimed that no one younger than 18 was being recruited; mandatory retirement age 45 (enlisted), 50 (NCOs), and 55 (officers) (2012)
Cabo Verde 18-35 years of age for male and female selective compulsory military service; conscript service obligation - 2 years; 17 years of age for voluntary service (with parental consent) (2013)
Cambodia 18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory and voluntary military service (2012)
Cameroon 18-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; high school graduation required; service obligation 4 years; the government makes periodic calls for volunteers (2012)
Canada 17 years of age for voluntary male and female military service (with parental consent); 16 years of age for Reserve and Military College applicants; Canadian citizenship or permanent residence status required; maximum 34 years of age; service obligation 3-9 years (2012)
Central African Republic 18 years of age for selective military service; 2-year conscript service obligation (2012)
Chad 20 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service, with a 3-year service obligation; 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary service; no minimum age restriction for volunteers with consent from a parent or guardian; women are subject to 1 year of compulsory military or civic service at age of 21 (2012)
Chile 18-45 years of age for voluntary male and female military service, although the right to compulsory recruitment of males 18-45 is retained; service obligation is 12 months for Army and 22 months for Navy and Air Force (2012)
China 18-24 years of age for selective compulsory military service, with a 2-year service obligation; no minimum age for voluntary service (all officers are volunteers); 18-19 years of age for women high school graduates who meet requirements for specific military jobs; a recent military decision allows women in combat roles; the first class of women warship commanders was in 2011 (2012)
Colombia 18-24 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; service obligation is 18 months (2012)
Comoros 18 years of age for 2-year voluntary military service; no conscription; women first inducted into the Army in 2004 (2012)
Congo, Democratic Republic of the 18-45 years of age for voluntary and compulsory military service (2012)
Congo, Republic of the 18 years of age for voluntary military service; women can serve in the Armed Forces (2012)
Cote d'Ivoire 18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary male and female military service; conscription is not enforced; voluntary recruitment of former rebels into the new national army is restricted to ages 22-29 (2012)
Croatia 18-27 years of age for voluntary military service; 6-month service obligation (2012)
Cuba 17-28 years of age for compulsory military service; 2-year service obligation; both sexes subject to military service (2012)
Curacao no conscription (2010)
Cyprus Cypriot National Guard (CNG): 18-50 years of age for compulsory military service for all Greek Cypriot males; 17 years of age for voluntary service; length of service obligation is 24 months (2014)
Czech Republic 18-28 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Denmark 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscripts serve an initial training period that varies from 4 to 12 months according to specialization; reservists are assigned to mobilization units following completion of their conscript service; women eligible to volunteer for military service (2012)
Djibouti 18 years of age for voluntary military service; 16-25 years of age for voluntary military training; no conscription (2012)
Dominican Republic 17-21 years of age for voluntary military service; recruits must have completed primary school and be Dominican Republic citizens; women may volunteer (2012)
Ecuador 18 years of age for selective conscript military service; conscription has been suspended; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; Air Force 18-22 years of age, Ecadorian birth requirement; 1-year service obligation (2012)
Egypt 18-30 years of age for male conscript military service; service obligation - 18-36 months, followed by a 9-year reserve obligation; voluntary enlistment possible from age 16 (2012)
El Salvador 18 years of age for selective compulsory military service; 16-22 years of age for voluntary male or female service; service obligation is 12 months, with 11 months for officers and NCOs (2012)
Equatorial Guinea 18 years of age for selective compulsory military service, although conscription is rare in practice; 2-year service obligation; women hold only administrative positions in the Coast Guard (2013)
Eritrea 18-40 years of age for male and female voluntary and compulsory military service; 16-month conscript service obligation (2012)
Estonia 18-27 for compulsory military or governmental service, conscript service requirement 8-11 months depending on education; NCOs, reserve officers, and specialists serve 11 months (2013)
Ethiopia 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no compulsory military service, but the military can conduct callups when necessary and compliance is compulsory (2012)
Fiji 18 years of age for voluntary military service; mandatory retirement at age 55 (2013)
Finland 18 years of age for male voluntary and compulsory - and female voluntary - national military and nonmilitary service; service obligation 6-12 months; military obligation to age 60 (2012)
France 17-40 years of age for male and female voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription; 1-year service obligation; women serve in noncombat posts (2013)
Gabon 20 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Gambia, The 18 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; service obligation 6 months (2012)
Georgia 18 to 34 years of age for compulsory and voluntary active duty military service; conscript service obligation is 18 months (2012)
Germany 17-23 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription ended 1 July 2011; service obligation 8-23 months or 12 years; women have been eligible for voluntary service in all military branches and positions since 2001 (2013)
Ghana 18-26 years of age for voluntary military service, with basic education certificate; no conscription; must be HIV/AIDS negative (2012)
Greece 19-45 years of age for compulsory military service; during wartime the law allows for recruitment beginning January of the year of inductee's 18th birthday, thus including 17 year olds; 18 years of age for volunteers; conscript service obligation is 1 year for the Army and 9 months for the Air Force and Navy; women are eligible for voluntary military service (2012)
Guatemala all male citizens between the ages of 18 and 50 are liable for military service; in practice, a selective draft system is employed, with only a small portion of 17-21 year-olds conscripted; conscript service obligation varies from 1 to 2 years; women can serve as officers (2013)
Guinea 18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; 18-month conscript service obligation (2012)
Guinea-Bissau 18-25 years of age for selective compulsory military service (Air Force service is voluntary); 16 years of age or younger, with parental consent, for voluntary service (2013)
Guyana 16 years of age or younger for voluntary military service; no conscription (2013)
Holy See (Vatican City) Pontifical Swiss Guard Corps (Corpo della Guardia Svizzera Pontificia): 19-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; must be Roman Catholic, a Swiss citizen, with a secondary education (2013)
Honduras 18 years of age for voluntary 2- to 3-year military service; no conscription (2012)
Hungary 18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; 6-month service obligation (2012)
India 16-18 years of age for voluntary military service (Army 17 1/2, Air Force 17, Navy 16 1/2); no conscription; women may join as officers, but for noncombat roles only (2012)
Indonesia 18-45 years of age for voluntary military service, with selective conscription authorized; 2-year service obligation, with reserve obligation to age 45 (officers); Indonesian citizens only (2012)
Iran 18 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age for volunteers; 17 years of age for Law Enforcement Forces; 15 years of age for Basij Forces (Popular Mobilization Army); conscript military service obligation is 18 months; women exempt from military service (2012)
Iraq 18-40 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2013)
Ireland 17-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service (17-27 years of age for the Naval Service); enlistees 16 years of age can be recruited for apprentice specialist positions; 17-35 years of age for the Reserve Defense Forces (RDF); maximum obligation 12 years (5 years IDF, 7 years RDF); EU citizenship or 5-year residence in Ireland required (2012)
Israel 18 years of age for compulsory (Jews, Druzes) military service; 17 years of age for voluntary (Christians, Muslims, Circassians) military service; both sexes are obligated to military service; conscript service obligation - 36 months for enlisted men, 21 months for enlisted women, 48 months for officers; pilots commit to 9 years service; reserve obligation to age 41-51 (men), 24 (women) (2013)
Italy 18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; women may serve in any military branch; Italian citizenship required; 12-month service obligation (2013)
Jamaica 17 1/2 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Japan 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; mandatory retirement at age 53 for senior enlisted personnel and at 62 years for senior service officers (2012)
Jordan 17 years of age for voluntary male military service; initial service term 2 years, with option to reenlist for 18 years; conscription at age 18 suspended in 1999; women not subject to conscription, but can volunteer to serve in noncombat military positions in the Royal Jordanian Arab Army Women's Corps and RJAF (2013)
Kazakhstan 18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation is 2 years, but Kazakhstan may be transitioning to a contract force; 19 is the legal minimum age for voluntary service; military cadets in intermediate (ages 15-17) and higher (ages 17-21) education institutes are classified as military service personnel (2012)
Kenya 18-26 years of age for male and female voluntary service (under 18 with parental consent), with a 9-year obligation (7 years for Kenyan Navy); applicants must be Kenyan citizens and provide a national identity card (obtained at age 18) and a school-leaving certificate; women serve under the same terms and conditions as men; mandatory retirement at age 55 (2012)
Korea, North 18 is presumed to be the legal minimum age for compulsory military service; 16-17 is the presumed legal minimum age for voluntary service (2012)
Korea, South 20-30 years of age for compulsory military service, with middle school education required; conscript service obligation - 21 months (Army, Marines), 23 months (Navy), 24 months (Air Force); 18-26 years of age for voluntary military service; women, in service since 1950, admitted to 7 service branches, including infantry, but excluded from artillery, armor, anti-air, and chaplaincy corps; HIV-positive individuals are exempt from military service (2012)
Kuwait 17-21 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription suspended (2012)
Kyrgyzstan 18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary male military service in the Armed Forces or Interior Ministry; service obligation - 1 year, with optional fee-based 3-year service in the callup mobilization reserve; women may volunteer at age 19; 16-17 years of age for military cadets, who cannot take part in military operations (2013)
Laos 18 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - minimum 18-months (2012)
Latvia 18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; no conscription; under current law, every citizen is entitled to serve in the armed forces for life (2012)
Lebanon 17-30 years of age for voluntary military service; 18-24 years of age for officer candidates; no conscription (2013)
Lesotho 18-24 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women serve as commissioned officers (2012)
Liberia 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Libya 18 years of age for mandatory or voluntary service (2012)
Lithuania 18 years of age for voluntary military service; service obligation 1 year; Lithuania converted to a professional military in the fall of 2008, although the decision continues under judicial review (2012)
Luxembourg 18-24 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; Luxembourg citizen or EU citizen with 3-year residence in Luxembourg (2012)
Macedonia 18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 2008 (2013)
Madagascar 18-25 years of age for male-only voluntary military service; no conscription; service obligation is 18 months for military or equivalent civil service; 20-30 years of age for National Gendarmerie recruits and 35 years of age for those with military experience (2012)
Malawi 18 years of age for voluntary military service; standard obligation is 2 years of active duty and 5 years reserve service (2012)
Malaysia 17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent and proof of age); mandatory retirement age 60; women serve in the Malaysian Armed Forces; no conscription (2013)
Maldives 18-28 years of age for voluntary service; no conscription; 10th grade or equivalent education required; must not be a member of a political party (2012)
Mali 18 years of age for selective compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation - 2 years (2012)
Malta 17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2013)
Mauritania 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Mexico 18 years of age for compulsory military service, conscript service obligation is 12 months; 16 years of age with consent for voluntary enlistment; conscripts serve only in the Army; Navy and Air Force service is all voluntary; women are eligible for voluntary military service; cadets enrolled in military schools from the age of 15 are considered members of the armed forces (2012)
Moldova 18 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; male registration required at age 16; 1-year service obligation (2012)
Mongolia 18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation is 12 months in land or air defense forces or police; a small portion of Mongolian land forces (2.5 percent) is comprised of contract soldiers; women cannot be deployed overseas for military operations (2012)
Montenegro 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Morocco 20 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; service obligation - 18 months (2012)
Mozambique registration for military service is mandatory for all males and females at 18 years of age; 18-35 years of age for selective compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary service; 2-year service obligation; women may serve as officers or enlisted (2012)
Namibia 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Nepal 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2014)
Netherlands 17 years of age for an all-volunteer force (2012)
New Zealand 17 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed until the age of 18; no conscription; 3 years of secondary education required; must be a citizen of NZ, the UK, Australia, Canada, or the US, and resident of NZ for the previous 5 years (2013)
Nicaragua 18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; tour of duty 18-36 months; requires Nicaraguan nationality and 6th-grade education (2012)
Niger 18 is the presumed legal minimum age for compulsory or voluntary military service; enlistees must be Nigerien citizens and unmarried; 2-year service term; women may serve in health care (2012)
Nigeria 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Norway 19-35 years of age for male compulsory military service; 16 years of age in wartime; 17 years of age for male volunteers; 18 years of age for women; 1-year service obligation followed by 4-5 refresher training periods through ages 35-60, totalling 18 months (2012)
Oman 18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Pakistan 16-23 years of age for voluntary military service; soldiers cannot be deployed for combat until age 18; the Pakistani Air Force and Pakistani Navy have inducted their first female pilots and sailors; the Pakistan Air Force recruits aviation technicians at age 15; service obligation (Navy) 10-18 years; retirement required after 18-30 years service or age 40-52 (2012)
Papua New Guinea 16 years of age for voluntary military service (with parental consent); no conscription; graduation from grade 12 required (2013)
Paraguay 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation is 12 months for Army, 24 months for Navy; volunteers for the Air Force must be younger than 22 years of age with a secondary school diploma (2012)
Peru 18-50 years of age for male and 18-45 years of age for female voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Philippines 17-23 years of age (officers 20-24) for voluntary military service; no conscription; applicants must be single male or female Philippine citizens with either 72 college credit hours (enlisted) or a baccalaureate degree (officers) (2013)
Poland 18-28 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; conscription phased out in 2009-12; service obligation shortened from 12 to 9 months in 2005; women only allowed to serve as officers and noncommissioned officers (2013)
Portugal 18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; no compulsory military service, but conscription possible if insufficient volunteers available; women serve in the armed forces, on naval ships since 1993, but are prohibited from serving in some combatant specialties; reserve obligation to age 35 (2012)
Qatar conscription for males aged 18-35 (2014)
Romania 20-35 years of age for compulsory male military service; conscription ended 2006, but military service remains mandatory; 18 years of age for male and female voluntary service; all military inductees (including women) contract for an initial 5-year term of service, with subsequent successive 3-year terms until age 36 (2012)
Russia 18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; males are registered for the draft at 17 years of age; service obligation is 1 year (conscripts can only be sent to combat zones after 6 months of training); reserve obligation for non-officers to age 50; enrollment in military schools from the age of 16, cadets classified as members of the armed forces
note: the chief of the General Staff Mobilization Directorate announced in May 2013 that for health reasons, only 65% of draftees called up during the spring 2013 draft campaign were fit for military service, and over 12% of these were sent for an additional medical examination (by way of comparison, 69.9% in 2012 and 57.7% in 2011 were deemed fit for military service); approximately 50% of draft-age Russian males receive some type of legal deferment each draft cycle (2014)
Rwanda 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; Rwandan citizenship is required, as is a 9th grade education for enlisted recruits and an A-level certificate for officer candidates; enlistment is either as contract (5-years, renewable twice) or career; retirement (for officers and senior NCOs) after 20 years of service or at 40-60 years of age (2012)
Saint Kitts and Nevis 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Saint Lucia 18 years of age for voluntary security service; no national army (2012)
San Marino 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription; government has the authority to call up all San Marino citizens from 16-60 years of age to service in the military (2012)
Sao Tome and Principe 18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory military service; 17 is the legal minimum age for voluntary service (2012)
Saudi Arabia 17 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Senegal 18 years of age for voluntary military service; 20 years of age for selective conscript service; service obligation is 2 years; women have been accepted into military service since 2008 (2013)
Serbia 18 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished December 2010; reserve obligation to age 60 for men and age 50 for women (2013)
Seychelles 18 years of age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); no conscription (2012)
Sierra Leone 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service (younger with parental consent); women are eligible to serve; no conscription; candidates must be HIV negative (2012)
Singapore 18-21 years of age for male compulsory military service; 16 1/2 years of age for volunteers; 2-year conscript service obligation, with a reserve obligation to age 40 (enlisted) or age 50 (officers) (2012)
Slovakia 18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription in peacetime suspended in 2006; women are eligible to serve (2012)
Slovenia 18-25 years of age for voluntary military service; conscription abolished in 2003 (2012)
Somalia 18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory and voluntary military service (2012)
South Africa 18 years of age for voluntary military service; women are eligible to serve in noncombat roles; 2-year service obligation (2012)
South Sudan 18 is the legal minimum age for compulsory and voluntary military service; the Government of South Sudan signed a revised action plan with the UN in March 2012 to demobilize all child soldiers within the SPLA; UNICEF reported 250 confirmed cases of the SPLA's association with children at the end of 2012 (2012)
Spain 18-26 years of age for voluntary military service by a Spanish citizen or legal immigrant, 2-3 year obligation; women allowed to serve in all SAF branches, including combat units; no conscription, but Spanish Government retains right to mobilize citizens 19-25 years of age in a national emergency; mandatory retirement of non-NCO enlisted personnel at age 45 or 58, depending on service length (2013)
Sri Lanka 18-22 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; 5-year service obligation (Air Force) (2012)
Sudan 18-33 years of age for male and female compulsory or voluntary military service; 1-2 year service obligation; a requirement that completion of national service was mandatory before entering public or private sector employment has been cancelled (2012)
Suriname 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription; personnel drawn almost exclusively from the Creole community (2012)
Swaziland 18-30 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; no conscription; compulsory HIV testing required, only HIV-negative applicants accepted (2012)
Sweden 18-47 years of age for male and female voluntary military service; Swedish citizenship required; service obligation: 7.5 months (Army), 7-15 months (Navy), 8-12 months (Air Force); the Swedish Parliament has abolished compulsory military service, with exclusively voluntary recruitment as of July 2010; conscription remains an option in emergencies; after completing initial service, soldiers have a reserve commitment until age 47 (2013)
Switzerland 19-26 years of age for male compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary male and female military service; every Swiss male has to serve at least 260 days in the armed forces; conscripts receive 18 weeks of mandatory training, followed by seven 3-week intermittent recalls for training during the next 10 years (2012)
Syria 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation is 18 months; women are not conscripted but may volunteer to serve; re-enlistment obligation 5 years, with retirement after 15 years or age 40 (enlisted) or 20 years or age 45 (NCOs) (2012)
Taiwan 18-35 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; service obligation is 2 years; women may enlist; women in Air Force service are restricted to noncombat roles; reserve obligation to age 30 (Army); the Ministry of Defense is in the process of implementing a voluntary enlistment system over the period 2010-2015, although nonvolunteers will still be required to perform alternative service or go through 4 months of military training (2012)
Tajikistan 18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; males required to undergo compulsory military training between ages 16 and 55; males can enroll in military schools from at least age 15 (2012)
Tanzania 18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)
Thailand 21 years of age for compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; males register at 18 years of age; 2-year conscript service obligation (2012)
Timor-Leste 18 years of age for voluntary military service; 18-month service obligation; no conscription but, as of May 2013, introduction of conscription was under discussion (2013)
Togo 18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; 2-year service obligation (2012)
Tonga 16 years of age for voluntary enlistment (with parental consent); no conscription; the king retains the right to call up "all those capable of bearing arms" in wartime (2012)
Trinidad and Tobago 18-25 years of age for voluntary military service (16 years of age with parental consent); no conscription; Trinidad and Tobago citizenship and completion of secondary school required (2012)
Tunisia 20-23 years of age for compulsory service, one year service obligation; 18-23 years of age for voluntary service; Tunisian nationality required (2012)
Turkey 21-41 years of age for male compulsory military service; 18 years of age for voluntary service; 15 months conscript obligation for non-university graduates, 6-12 months for university graduates; conscripts are called to register at age 20, for service at 21; women serve in the Turkish Armed Forces only as officers; reserve obligation to age 41; under a law passed in November 2011, men aged 30 and older, or who have worked 3 years in foreign countries, may pay $16,200 in lieu of mandatory military service (2013)
Turkmenistan 18-27 years of age for compulsory male military service; 2-year conscript service obligation, or 1 year for university students; 20 years of age for voluntary service; males may enroll in military schools from age 15 (2013)
Uganda 18-26 years of age for voluntary military duty; 18-30 years of age for professionals; no conscription; 9-year service obligation; the government has stated that while recruitment under 18 years of age could occur with proper consent, "no person under the apparent age of 18 years shall be enrolled in the armed forces"; Ugandan citizenship and secondary education required (2012)
Ukraine 18-25 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; conscript service obligation is 12 months for Army and Air Force, 18 months for Navy (2012)
United Arab Emirates 18 years of age for voluntary military service; 18 years of age for officers and women; no conscription; 16-22 years of age for candidates for the UAE Naval College (2012)
United Kingdom 16-33 years of age (officers 17-28) for voluntary military service (with parental consent under 18); no conscription; women serve in military services, but are excluded from ground combat positions and some naval postings; as of October 2009, women comprised 12.1% of officers and 9% of enlisted personnel in the regular forces; must be citizen of the UK, Commonwealth, or Republic of Ireland; reservists serve a minimum of 3 years, to age 45 or 55; 17 years 6 months of age for voluntary military service by Nepalese citizens in the Brigade of Gurkhas; 16-34 years of age for voluntary military service by Papua New Guinean citizens (2012)
United States 18 years of age (17 years of age with parental consent) for male and female voluntary service; no conscription; maximum enlistment age 42 (Army), 27 (Air Force), 34 (Navy), 28 (Marines); service obligation 8 years, including 2-5 years active duty (Army), 2 years active (Navy), 4 years active (Air Force, Marines); DoD is eliminating prohibitions restricting women from assignments in units smaller than brigades or near combat units (2013)
Uruguay 18-30 years of age (18-22 years of age for navy) for male or female voluntary military service; up to 40 years of age for specialists; enlistment is voluntary in peacetime, but the government has the authority to conscript in emergencies; minimum 6-year education (2013)
Uzbekistan 18 years of age for compulsory military service; 1-month or 1-year conscript service obligation for males; moving toward a professional military, but conscription in some form will continue; the military cannot accommodate everyone who wishes to enlist, and competition for entrance into the military is similar to the competition for admission to universities (2013)
Venezuela 18-30 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; 30-month conscript service obligation; Navy requires 6th-grade education for enlisted personnel; all citizens of military service age (18-60 years old) are obligated to register for military service (2012)
Vietnam 18-25 years of age for male compulsory and voluntary military service; females may volunteer for active duty military service; conscription typically takes place twice annually and service obligation is 18 months (Army, Air Defense), 2 years (Navy and Air Force); 18-45 years of age (male) or 18-40 years of age (female) for Militia Force or Self Defense Force service; males may enroll in military schools at age 17 (2013)
Yemen 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription; 2-year service obligation (2012)
Zambia national registration required at age 16; 18-25 years of age for male and female voluntary military service (16 years of age with parental consent); no conscription; Zambian citizenship required; grade 12 certification required; mandatory HIV testing on enlistment; mandatory retirement for officers at age 65 (Army, Air Force) (2012)
Zimbabwe 18-24 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription; women are eligible to serve (2012)
Back to Top
 
GO TOP